Business & Finance
Farmer's Weekly

Farmer's Weekly 11 September 2020

Farmer’s Weekly is an agricultural magazine based in South Africa, targeting the whole of Southern Africa. The magazine is committed to advancing the interests of the region’s farmers and its agricultural industry by serving as a mouthpiece for the industry and by keeping its readers informed of the latest developments in the agricultural sector.

South Africa
Caxton Magazines
Read More

in this issue

2 min.
the same old story

There are a few common threads that run through most stories of those people who have, over the past 25 years, benefitted from one of South Africa’s land reform and agricultural transformation programmes. A lack of tenure security and post-settlement support, and insufficient access to markets and knowledgeable extension officers, are some of the most common issues that beneficiaries have persistently struggled with. Another key challenge that many land reform beneficiaries experience is the serious lack of access to water and irrigation infrastructure. This was one of the problems raised by farmers we featured in last week’s (FW, 4 September) and this week’s issues of Farmer’s Weekly. In both instances, the farmers have been waiting for many years for government to make good on its promises to provide boreholes and other…

6 min.
sa sugar’s master plan: not as sweet as it seems

“South Africa’s annual sugar production has decreased by an average of almost 25% over the past 20 years. This is due to a combination of challenges, such as changing weather patterns, the impact of global warming, unfavourable tariffs, and the sugar tax. The South African Sugar Cane Value Chain Master Plan to 2030 aims to return the industry to success. However, it is lacking in its social and green strategy. The master plan seeks to help companies ‘improve their industrial capacities and sophistication’. It suggests that the sugar cane value chain needs to be competitive and sustainable in order to ‘preserve and grow rural employment and sustainable livelihoods’. Although the terms ‘sustainable’ and ‘sustainability’ are used 17 times in the plan, details are missing on how to tackle both social and…

2 min.
farmer’s diary

Calf rearing 19 SEPTEMBER THIS COURSE COMBINES EXPERT KNOWHOW AND PRACTICAL EXPERIENCE TO PRESENT DELEGATES WITH A COURSE THAT HELPS THEM MANAGE PROBLEMS THAT MAY OCCUR WHEN REARING CALVES. 28 SEPTEMBER TO 2 OCTOBER Handyman Course, Agri Skills Cullinan Farm Training Centre. Email Agri Skills Transfer at admin@agriskills.net, or phone 012›460 9585. 5 TO 9 OCTOBER Beef Cattle Management, Agricultural Research Council Irene Campus, Pretoria. Email Mpho Makhanya at makhanyam@arc.agric.za, or phone her on 012 672 9153. 5 TO 9 OCTOBER Tractor Operation and Maintenance, Buhle Farmers’ Academy Delmas Campus.Email info@buhle.org.za. 8 TO 9 OCTOBER Cattle Nutrition Management, George. Visit rltsafrica.com/ product/nutrition-management. 16 OCTOBER Cattle Dairy Farming Management and Production, George. Visit rltsafrica.com/product/ dairy-farming. 20 TO 22 OCTOBER Dairy Processing: Yoghurt and Maas, Agricultural Research Council Irene Campus, Pretoria. Email Mpho Makhanya at makhanyam@arc.agric.za, or phone her on 012 672 9153. 24 TO 30 OCTOBER Birding…

2 min.
agricolleges international: an ‘inspiring creation’

Agricolleges International (Agricolleges), a South African-based online agrieducation platform, has been named one of the top 30 Most Inspiring Digital Innovations (MIDI) of the year by Dutch organisation, Partos. Agricolleges offers a variety of online agricultural courses, from courses focused on business management to plant and animal production. Partos, an association of Dutch NGOs working in international development, believes that there’s huge innovation potential in developing economies. The MIDI 2020 initiative was driven by Partos’s innovation platform, The Spindle, with the aim of showcasing inspiring digital innovations in the field of development co-operation. The Spindle received applications for the MIDI initiative from companies in Latin America, Asia and Africa. “Access to the Internet is exploding across Africa and Agricolleges was founded with the intention of giving those who want to further their…

3 min.
6 july 1990 sweet potatoes like the warmth

30 YEARS AGO This article explains the ideal conditions in which to grow the sweet potato. Indigenous to South America and eaten by Columbus and other explorers, the sweet potato has been grown in South Africa since the earliest times. If you want to grow the high-carbohydrate vegetable, make sure you give it a warm growing season of four to six months. It thrives best in a subtropical climate where night temperatures are high. It is very sensitive to frost. The sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) is not related to the common potato. Although a perennial plant, it is usually cultivated as an annual. The edible portion of the sweet potato plant is an enlarged root in contrast to a potato, which is a tuber or enlarged underground stem. The principal use of…

3 min.
second-quarter agri expansion could be somewhat milder

South Africa’s agriculture sector had a solid start to the year, with first-quarter gross value-added figures growing 27,8% quarter-on-quarter (q/q) on a seasonally adjusted and annualised basis. I previously noted that the succeeding quarters would likely continue to show strong growth, which is a view I still maintain. But the second-quarter expansion could be somewhat milder than the first quarter, possibly in the range of 20% to 25% q/q on a seasonally adjusted and annualised basis. The key drivers will remain somewhat similar to the previous quarter, which saw an uptick in animal products, field crops and horticulture. THE WEAKER RAND WAS A KEY DRIVER OF SECOND-QUARTER MACHINERY SALES Within field crops, sugar was the main driver, while in horticulture, deciduous fruits were the primary drivers of the bounce-back in the first quarter.…